Unwrapping Lazarus

Jesus didn’t come to earth to prove or talk about God. Jesus lived to show us God, and how to live like God.

As I meditated during the Easter Season while away from home and in a transient lifestyle, I prayed for a clear message that would bring me back to the Cross. It was in the story of Lazarus that I found the miracle waiting to be unwrapped.

When Jesus Christ called Lazarus out from the grave, the event was bittersweet resonating with sorrow, miracle, and prophetic signs. John tells us the story in the eleventh chapter of his Epistle.

Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, became very ill and passed away before Jesus arrived to help. When Jesus got to Bethany He found His grieving friends surrounded by other mourners weeping over the lost brother. Mixed with the grief was confusion and suspicion as to why this Healer had not come in time to rescue Lazarus.

Jesus did as God would do. The mourning turned to joy when He called out in a voice as loud as eternity, “Lazarus, come out.” Wrapped from head to toe in rags smelling of death, Lazarus, moved by the Messianic miracle, returned from the grave to his life.

This prophetic event foretold of the promise we know as the Atonement. When Jesus died on the Cross, He overcame sin and death, and as the Son of God, He gave His life so that we may live eternally in Heaven with Him.

Christ’s Atonement offers more than a promised future; it extends the invitation to participate in the Kingdom of God on earth here and now. When Lazarus came out of the grave, Jesus looked at the crowd of wide-eyed, open-mouthed, utterly amazed people and, stepping aside, He commanded them to “Unbind him, and let Him go.

Once again, we see in Jesus what God wants us to do. Unwrap the miracle!

   At the Cross of Jesus Christ, we have a choice. Are we on-lookers, doubters, contemplators, or are we Servants willing to consider the smelly, risky work of unbinding the miracles God has before us? As Jesus beckoned those wary people perusing the “walking dead”, will we hear again His call to the power and purpose of the Cross - with wonder, awe, and willingness?

When I considered this unwrapping revelation, our grandson Gabe came to mind. Gabe traded his college opportunities for YWAM missions that would take him into the world where Christ is calling. Leaving behind his family, Christmas, birthdays, TV sports with his Dad, and his Momma’s breakfasts, for the miracles of serving Christ, he chose to take the risk. Gabriel unwrapped the miracle.

Following Jesus Who taught us how to live the life God wants us to live is a life of faith and trust.

How will you unwrap the miracle of the Resurrection this Easter? The people who went forward to remove the stinking sticking bandages from Lazarus knew and believed Jesus had conquered death. Will you get closer to the miraculous even if it makes you uncomfortable, takes up valuable time, or requires more vulnerability than you want to expose?

This is the Easter Invitation. First, believe and know Jesus died on the Cross conquering the sins separating us from His Father. As Believers, we have Eternal Life with God in Heaven. Second, unwrap the miracle of your life in Christ by living as He taught us – serving with love, compassion, and mercy. Each day is your Miracle Day, the one in which you can set free the life of Christ into this world!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing undeserved Miracle of the Cross where Your Son died at the hands of human sin to rise from death to give us new Eternal Life in You. LORD, help us to truly grasp the power and purpose of the Atonement, that through Your sacrifice to obey and serve God, we are “at-one” always with You. LORD, help us to remember, also, that we are called to be witnesses to God’s actions, changed by what we see, invited into the reality of His Miracles, and diligent to share that reality in this world, Your Kingdom on earth. Amen